The entire episode was captured on video shot by an eyewitness. Floyd, who was Black, pleaded with the white officer that he couldn’t breathe, but Chauvin kept his knee planted into the man’s neck even after he stopped moving and speaking.
The defense hasn’t said whether Chauvin will testify in his own defense.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired after Floyd’s death. The others face aiding and abetting charges and are set to go on trial in August.
Jury selection got underway this week in Chauvin’s trial, a process that resumed in court Thursday. Five jurors have already been seated after two days of pre-trial screening.
Last October, Cahill threw out the third-degree murder charge, saying it was unwarranted given the circumstances of Floyd’s death, which sparked worldwide protests and a reckoning on systemic racism and police brutality in America.
The dispute over the third-degree murder charge in Chauvin’s case revolved around the conviction of another former Minneapolis police officer in the unrelated killing of an Australian woman. The appeals court affirmed Mohamed Noor’s third-degree murder conviction in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
The state argued that the Noor affirmation established precedent for the third-degree murder charge under the circumstances of Floyd’s death. If the Minnesota Supreme Court had taken up Chauvin’s appeal, it might have meant months of delay in his trial. After the ruling, the Court of Appeals rejected as moot the state’s request to pause the trial pending the appeal.
This is a developing story. Please stay with AJC.com for the latest details. Information provided by The Associated Press was used to compile this report.